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If a tenant builds a building on leased land, and purchases soil deposited on the land, whose is it after the tenant abandons the property? For the purposes of this question, assume the lease did not include any provisions addressing this matter.

What statues or precedents are relevant here?

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Is the soil a fixture or a chattel?

Fixtures revert to the landlord; chattels remain the property of the tenant with the landlord as bailee.

Soil could be either - if it was brought onto the site with the intention that it become a permanent part of the landscaping then its a fixture; if its purpose was to be on-sold or incorporated into pot-plants then its a chattel.

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  • Thank you. A few followup qs. I would appreciate it you added to your answer. I presume buildings are fixtures. Are there circumstances under which they may be chattels? Also, just for my own education—I'm not questioning your expertise—are you aware of any case law or statutes that make the pot-plant versus landscaping distinction? – Diogenes Creosote Mar 21 at 2:47

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